An actinic keratosis (ak-ti-nik ker-ah-TOE-sis), or AK, is a rough, dry, scaly patch or growth that forms on the skin. An AK forms when the skin is badly damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or indoor tanning. Most people get more than one AK. When you have more than one AK, you have actinic keratoses, or AKs.
Anyone who has many AKs should be under a dermatologist’s care. Most people who have many AKs continue to get new AKs for life. AKs are considered precancerous. Left untreated, AKs may turn into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.
By seeing a dermatologist for regular checkups, AKs can be treated before they turn into skin cancer. If skin cancer does develop, catching it early through periodic total body skin cancer screening exams and regular check-ups, gives the best chance of curing skin cancer.
Contact Dr. Heather Roberts for further information.